✯✯✯ Explain Why Abigail Is To Blame For The Crucible

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Explain Why Abigail Is To Blame For The Crucible



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Blame: The Crucible

In this guide, we'll go over Abigail's entire sphere of influence, from her role as the lead accuser in the witch trials to the relationship between Abigail and John Proctor, and discuss what drives Abigail to act as she does throughout the course of the play. Abigail is deftly characterized throughout the play through Miller's stage directions, what other characters say about her, and through Abigail's own actions and dialogue.

The first thing we learn about Abigail courtesy of Miller's introductory character description is that she is young and gorgeous:. More important than her physical description and age, however, are Abigail's relationships with the other characters in the play. Abigail has important—and often contentious—relationships with the other characters, many of which directly shape the action of the play. Abigail is the former servant of John and Elizabeth Proctor. Over the course of the first two acts, it is revealed that Abigail used to work for the Proctors but had an affair with John; she was kicked out when Elizabeth confronted John with her suspicions and he confessed.

By the time the play begins, Abigail still loves John, but the feeling that does not appear to be mutual, as John won't continue the affair with her. The relationship between Abigail and John Proctor changes even further over the course of the play; by Act 3, Abigail no longer cares about John as much and makes no move to halt his arrest and hanging for witchcraft. Abigail and Elizabeth have a mutual dislike, although the feeling is much stronger on Abigail's side than Elizabeth's since Abigail eventually ends up accusing Elizabeth of being a witch :. Not only does Abigail think Elizabeth is bitter, lying, cold, and sniveling, but Abigail refers to Elizabeth as "it.

Abigail is also Reverend Parris's niece and so Betty Parris's cousin ; she lives with the Parris family because her parents were killed by a local American Indian tribe. We mainly see Abigail's interactions with her family in Act 1, when Betty is lying unresponsive on the bed and Parris is freaking out about what people are going to say and how it's going to affect how he's perceived in the town. It's unclear whether Abigail actually cares about Betty, or if she is just worried that if Betty doesn't wake up she'll get in even bigger trouble.

Now shut it! Hitting someone is not exactly loving by today's standards, but tough love was not unknown in Puritan times, so you could argue it either way—maybe Abigail's just trying to stop Betty from being hysterical. Abigail's resentment of her uncle, by contrast, is quite clear. Miller uses explicit stage directions to Abigail like " in terror ", " with an edge of resentment " and " With ill-concealed resentment at him " Act 1, p. Because Abigail is an orphan in a society that does not value women, she is forced to depend on her uncle's kindness and avoid upsetting him or risk being thrown out to live on her own without any means to do so. Whether or not Abigail also thinks her uncle is petty and self-important is open to interpretation, depending on how the performers deliver certain lines or how the reader interprets them.

Take the following exchange, for instance:. Either she's meekly agreeing with him…or she's subtly mocking him because she's heard him go on and on about how he is persecuted so many times. I tend to believe the latter explanation, especially given how often Abigail's lines contain dual meanings, but an argument could be made for either case. Abigail has a somewhat mixed relationship with the third member of the Parris household, Tituba. Abigail seems to believe in Tituba's powers to the extent that she gets Tituba to make a potion to kill Goody Proctor presumably so Abigail can marry John.

When it starts to seem like this information might come out, however, Abigail preemptively accuses Tituba of bewitching her and Betty in order to save herself. Mercy and Abigail seem to have a sort of partners-in-crime type of friendship—Abigail likes Mercy well enough to warn her by telling her what Parris has told Abigail he knows about the woods although this could be perhaps because Abigail's afraid of what Mercy might say if they don't confer. On the other hand, Abigail appears to have nothing but disdain for Mary Warren, and is perfectly fine with bullying her:. Along with Ruth Putnam and Betty Parris, Abigail, Mercy, and Mary were in the woods with Tituba; along with Susanna Walcott, the girls form the core of the group of "afflicted" girls who accuse others of witchcraft during the trials.

By Act 3, Abigail no longer fears anybody because of how much she has risen in status and how much authority she has gained. She even faces off against Danforth the man with nominally the most power in the play as Deputy Governor of Massachusetts and gets him to back down from questioning her. Abigail is an accomplished and convincing liar —she lies easily, without any compunction or care for the truth, and can keep the lies going.

From her very introduction, Miller tells the reader of the play that Abigail has " an endless capacity for dissembling " p. This characteristic is demonstrated in the first act of The Crucible when Abigail lies about what exactly happened in the woods:. But they're speakin' of witchcraft. Betty's not witched" Act 1, p. As each of her lies is revealed to be such, she comes up with a new lie that she still gets people to believe, even though she was clearly just lying and there's no reason why she wouldn't still be lying.

Within the space of one act, Abigail changes her story from "we were just dancing" to "Tituba sent her spirit on me and bewitched us"—and everyone buys it. Part of Abigail's success in convincing others of her lies stems from her ability to get herself to believe the lies. This occurs in Act 3 in the Salem court—Abigail manages to convince herself that she's being afflicted to the point where she goes into a fit that has real physical side-effects her hands are icy to the touch.

A large part of Abigail's believability, though, comes from societal preconceptions—it's unthinkable that such a lowly person young orphaned girl would dare lie to someone important her uncle who's taken her in, the Deputy Governor of the Province, and so on. Probably not the accolade Reverend Parris would want hanging from his door. Last but not least, Abigail is opportunistic. She seizes the chance to divert blame from herself and Betty by accusing Tituba of making them do bad things Act 1. Once Abigail has gained power as an "afflicted child", she seizes the chance to accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft and get her out of the picture that way Act 2. Furthermore, when Elizabeth falters under Danforth's questioning and doesn't admit Abigail was dismissed because Abigail slept with John Proctor, Abigail seizes upon that too and strengthens her position by screaming and going into a fit before Hale can explain further about what he means by "This girl has always struck me as false!

And when neighboring towns like Andover overthrow their witch trials and it looks like being someone who accused others of witchcraft might not be so safe anymore, Abigail grabs Parris's savings and leaves town discussed in Act 4. Abigail only appears onstage in Acts 1 and 3, although she is talked about by other characters in the other two acts. In Act 1, she enters very near the beginning right after Tituba has been shooed off by Parris and stays onstage through the end of the act; in Act 3, she and the other girls are summoned to the court towards the last third of the act to explain and deny Mary Warren's accusations, remaining onstage through the end of the act. At the beginning of Act 1, Abigail is chastised by her uncle for possibly getting Betty sick with the dancing they did in the woods.

Abigail tries to defend herself, saying that Betty was just startled when Reverend Parris "leaped out of the bush so suddenly" and that's why Betty fainted. Parris refuses to believe Abigail is telling the whole truth and wants to make sure they weren't up to even worse things than dancing, like conjuring spirits! He also wants to know if Abigail's reputation is still pure, which Abigail gets all snippy about understandably—who'd want to talk to her uncle about her purity? When it becomes clear that spirits were conjured during the "dancing" in the woods, Abigail says that it wasn't her doing the conjuring, just Tituba and Ruth Putnam.

Once the adults leave, Abigail confers with Mercy and Mary Warren about what to do. Abigail briefly manages to rouse Betty, who tries to throw herself out of the window, yells that "Abigail drank a potion to kill Goody Proctor," and then sinks back into an unresponsive state again. Abigail threatens everyone with violence if she says something about the potion. When Abigail finds herself alone with John Proctor, she approaches him to see if she can get him to resume their affair, but he turns her down. Abigail is not happy about this and says it's his wife making him do it, which makes Proctor threaten to whip her although to be fair, this is his default for dealing with women who upset him.

Hale arrives and begins to question Abigail about her actions in the woods. When pressed, Abigail blames Tituba, who is then fetched to explain herself. Before Tituba can say anything, Abigail preemptively strikes by saying that it was Tituba who did all the bad things like conjuring and creating potions, knowing that because Tituba is one of the few people in Salem below Abigail on the social ladder, the other Salem residents will find this easy to believe. After Tituba confesses, Abigail says that she, too, wants to confess her sins and come clean with God. She and Betty go into an orgy of crying out names of townspeople as witches as the curtain falls " On their ecstatic cries " Act 1, p.

It turns out that while at dinner at the Parris house, Abigail fell to the floor, writhing in pain, and a needle was pulled out of her by Parris; Abigail then "testify it were your wife's familiar spirit pushed it in" Act 3, p. It also turns out that Abigail was sitting right next to Mary in court as Mary made the poppet and stuck a needle in it for safekeeping, which could have given Abigail the idea to throw the fit at dinner and accuse Elizabeth, but the hysterical Cheever, Herrick, and even Hale don't seem to think that this is reason enough not to arrest Elizabeth.

Abigail is brought into the courtroom along with the other afflicted girls by Danforth for questioning. She denies that she has lied about the supernatural torments she's been through, affirming that Mary is lying and that "Goody Proctor always kept poppets" Act 3, p. In the midst of dressing down Danforth for doubting her, Abigail suddenly seems to go into a trance or some other altered state. During this fit, she looks at Mary Warren with the implication being that Mary is the one causing this —the other girls follow Abigail's lead and do the same. When Abigail looks up to heaven and asks for strength, however, she is assaulted, yelled at, and accused of being a harlot by John Proctor. Danforth asks Abigail to deny or confirm that she had sex with John Proctor when asked by Danforth, but Abigail refuses "If I must answer that, I will leave and I will not come back again!

Abigail leads the girls into another fit after Elizabeth Proctor exits the courtroom, this one explicitly targeting Mary Warren as the source:. Envy is a deadly sin, Mary. She and the other girls descend into full-blown hysteria, mimicking Mary Warren's every action and word until Mary caves under the pressure and accuses John Proctor of being the Devil's man. What happened to Abigail? We learn via Reverend Parris that she has vanished, possibly via ship, and taken all his savings.

In "Echoes Down the Corridor" the epilogue immediately following Act 4 , Miller informs us that "[t]he legend has it that Abigail turned up later as a prostitute in Boston" p. Abigail is the most complex female character in The Crucible. Unlike Rebecca Nurse the wise, saintly old woman , Elizabeth Proctor the frigid and betrayed wife , Mary Warren the girl who just wants to feel important and fit in with the cool kids , or Tituba the slave who was forced into saving herself by accusing others of witchcraft , Abigail's character cannot be neatly labeled as just one thing. Instead, there is a complex interaction of different motivations that lead Abigail to act as she does during the events of the play.

An easy, surface explanation of Abigail's character is to label her as a calculating sociopath, and there is some evidence that supports this claim. In Act 1, Abigail does seize upon the opportunity to divert blame from herself to first Tituba and Ruth p. She doesn't care at all about the fates of the women being blamed—she's just accusing them to further her own ends. A wind, a cold wind, has come.

John Proctor enters with Mary Warren, promising to clear up any doubts regarding the girls if his wife is freed from custody. Danforth orders the girls into the vestry. Reverend Parris is skeptical, pointing out that the girls fainted, screamed, and turned cold before the accused, which they see as proof of the spirits. Mary tells them that she believed at first to have seen the spirits, however she knows now that there aren't any. In an attempt to discredit Mary, Abigail and the other girls begin to scream and cry out that they are freezing. When Abigail calls to God, Proctor accuses her of being a whore and tells the court of their affair. Abigail denies it and the court has Elizabeth brought in to verify if Proctor is telling the truth.

Not knowing that he had already confessed, Elizabeth lies and denies any knowledge of the affair. When Proctor continues to insist that the affair took place, the girls begin to pretend to see a yellow bird sent by Mary to attack them. To save herself from being accused of witchcraft, Mary tells the court that Proctor was in league with the devil and forced her to testify. Proctor is arrested for witchcraft, and Reverend Hale storms out of the court, shouting "I denounce these proceedings! Proctor is chained to a jail wall, totally isolated from the outside. Reverend Parris begins to panic because John was liked by many in the village as were Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse, who are also to be hanged , and he explains his fears to Hathorne, Danforth and Cheever.

He also reveals that Abigail and Mercy Lewis one of the "afflicted" girls stole 31 pounds about half his yearly salary and boarded a ship in the night. Hale enters, now a broken man who spends all his time with the prisoners, praying with them and advising prisoners to confess to witchcraft so that they can live. The authorities send Elizabeth to John, telling her to try to convince Proctor to confess to being a witch.

When Proctor and Elizabeth are alone, she forgives him and reaffirms their love. Elizabeth tells of Giles Corey being pressed to death. John chooses to confess in exchange for his life and calls out to Hathorne, who is almost overjoyed to hear such news. Proctor signs the confession, then tears it up when realizing that Danforth is going to nail the signed confession to the church which Proctor fears will ruin his name and the names of other Salemites. Proctor, Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey are led to the gallows to hang. Abigail's motivation to do what she did in the story was her jealousy of Elizabeth Proctor, a hunger for power, and a lust for John Proctor. It's also speculated that she was acting out of a desire for attention and affection from others, which she'd get when she was hailed as a heroine for outing witches in Salem.

She was also seeking amusement in how she could turn the entire town and it's a religious community on it's head due to her lies, giving her a greater sense of power and control than most girls of her time period could have. It's also possible that she suffered from dementia or some sort of severe personality disorder, which explained why she put her own selfish wants in place of where her moral compass should have been. In many ways, Abigail ended up getting the last laugh. She was successful in achieving most of her desired outcomes and while she couldn't get John Proctor to love her in return, her actions ultimately led to his and Elizabeth's deaths in the witch trials. Meanwhile, she got to leave Salem behind, completely unpunished for her evil deeds. However, there is a legend that suggests that Abigail became a lower-class prostitute in Boston and died a few years later, likely of a sexually transmitted disease.

Abigail appears in the film adaption of The Crucible as John Proctor's maid before she betrays him and left him to die at the witch trials presided over by deputy governor Thomas Danforth. She appears again in the remake of the same name as the movie's main antagonist. Here, she is sixteen, while in the actual events, she was 12 and therefore, obviously did not have a relationship with John Proctor. Nor was she a temptress. In this version she was portrayed by Academy Award-nominated actress Winona Ryder in her first and so far only villainous role.

Villains Wiki. Villains Wiki Explore. Top Content. TimeShade TyA. Pure Evil Terms. Explore Wikis Community Central. Register Don't have an account? Abigail Williams The Crucible. She was portrayed by Winona Ryder in the film adaptation of the play. Abigail Williams is an American black metal band formed in Abigail appears in film The Sorcerer's Apprentice as a minor antagonist. In the film, she was confirmed to be a witch who had both framed others and setup others to take the fall for her witchcraft to divert attention from herself, which resulted in the Salem Witch Trials.

Her actions and crimes against humanity, coupled with her conspiracy with Horvath to release Morgana, catch the attention of Balthazar Blake, who seals her into the Grimhold so she can do no more harm. She is later released by Horvath to kidnap the main protagonist Dave's love interest, Becky Barnes, only for the former Merlinean fatally drains her of her magic once she completes the deed. Abigail is revealed as the antagonist of the video game Murdered: Soul Suspect. In the story, flashbacks reveal that she was hanged for her part in the witch trials.

Over the centuries, she has existed as a ghost, using her supernatural powers to kill those she believes are witches. In the game's climax, she is seized by demons and dragged to Hell. She plays a central role in the plot of the last Pseudo-Singularity chapter, Salem, which takes place during an alternate version of the Salem witch trials. The video game A Little Hope includes a spin-off of Abigail's history and the Salem with trials as one of the three timelines. In , Linnda R. Caporael [11] [12] put forward the hypothesis that ergot-tainted rye may have been the source of accusations of bewitchment that spurred the Salem witch trials.

Caporael argued that many of its convulsive symptoms were all symptoms reported in the Salem witchcraft records. This theory has been refuted by both toxicologists and historians of the Salem witch trials, in part because of the difference in the ages of the core group of accusers, which would have been younger, per prior ergotism epidemics, and would have affected males and females roughly equally. The ergotism theory is critiqued for failing to explain the differences in affliction rates between males and females and that no records suggest the allegedly affected experienced all symptoms to ergotism or had long-term health effects.

Additionally, most historical outbreaks of ergotism would affect entire families or communities who shared a similar diet. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Abigail Williams Salem witch trials. Accuser in the Salem Trials. For other uses, see Abigail Williams disambiguation. Abigail Rogers [ citation needed ]. Samuel Parris uncle Elizabeth "Betty" Parris cousin. Records of the Salem Witch-hunt p. The contemporary narrative attributed to Deodat Lawson identifies her as Parris "kins-woman" and "about 12 years" old. Mary Beth Norton writes, "Despite enormous efforts by many people Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia.

Retrieved March 16,

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